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FAQs

FAQ’s

How much do hourly planning services cost?

Our hourly fee is $200, with a first-time engagement minimum of $400. After an initial meeting and review of your situation, we provide a proposal with a flat fee based on our estimate of the time required to perform the listed scope of services. As you may have several goals you’d like to address but a limited budget, we can help formulate a strategy to address your goals in order of priority, over the course of months or a few years.

How and when do I pay the hourly fees?

All planning clients receive a Financial Planning Agreement after the free initial consultation, outlining the services that we have mutually agreed upon, as well as the fee. At that time, you can choose whether or not to proceed. Fixed fees are typically due in full prior to work commencing. Services on an hourly or estimated fee basis are due partially at the start of the engagement, with any balance due upon presentation. At this time, we accept checks as payment, but not debit or credit cards.

How and when do I pay the investment management fee?

Fees are deducted on a quarterly basis from each account, based on the account value at the previous quarter’s close. For instance, an account worth $100,000 on March 31st would have 0.25% (1% divided by 4) of that amount ($250) deducted in April for the second quarter’s management fees.

Withdrawals/additions above $50,000 in aggregate will be prorated for the period and reduce/increase the following quarter’s fees accordingly. Invoices detailing the fee calculation are available quarterly, and can be provided to your tax preparer for possible tax deduction under “Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions.”

How long does it take to create a financial plan?

Full financial plans typically take from one to two months to create, depending on the complexity of your situation, the completeness of the information you provide, and our existing workload. Services that are smaller in scope (e.g. only college planning, or portfolio analysis) may take a week or two. As all situations are unique, we can offer a better estimate after our initial consultation.

Do you hold my assets? How do I know you won’t take my money?

We never take custody of your assets. Investment management client accounts are opened with a unit of Fidelity, the well-known financial services firm. Monthly account statements and tax forms come directly from Fidelity, and you have access to your accounts through the Fidelity website and storefronts. The Investment Management Agreement that you sign upon beginning your relationship with Clarity only permits us to withdraw our quarterly fees and make trades in your account.

Why did you choose Fidelity as custodian?

We originally chose Fidelity based on our positive experience with them at an earlier firm, and have been pleased with their staff and capabilities since our 2008 inception. As is typical in our industry, we do not pay, nor do we receive compensation from, Fidelity, although they do provide us with ancillary support services. They are compensated through either transaction charges or underlying fund expenses. As we have many accounts with Fidelity, we have negotiated lower transaction fees for those investment products that require them. As a large financial services firm, Fidelity also has more resources to invest in account security and maintenance than smaller operations, which is important in this age of cybersecurity threats.

Note that we are not obligated to invest in Fidelity products due to the relationship and in fact use just a few.

While we periodically review our custodian options, the potential disruption to existing clients will always be a significant consideration. We do reserve the right to change custodians in the future.

What if I want to end the investment management relationship?

While client satisfaction is a top priority at Clarity Investments + Planning, we understand that there may come a time when a client decides to end the professional relationship. We will credit previously deducted management fees on a pro-rata basis, based on the day you notify us that you would like to end the relationship. This normally takes one to two business days. Fidelity will then disconnect us from your accounts and send you written notification. This will essentially make you a retail Fidelity customer. You will not have to move your account from Fidelity at that time, although you will no longer be able to purchase certain mutual funds or access the negotiated transaction fee schedule.

Contact Us

Clarity Investments + Planning LLC
118 North Bedford Road, Suite 100
Mount Kisco, NY 10549

NYC Meeting Space:
60 East 42nd Street
New York, NY 10165

212-730-7029 phone
914-293-1015 fax

aclearwaters@clarityinv.com

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